The Story Behind Maison Zhen
Maison Zhen was established in 2020. After working for several years in the fashion world, such as buying and product management in departments of major Swiss retailers, I was tired of being involved in mass production and consumption.
I truly believe that everything we need in life already exists. We simply must stride through life with our eyes wide open. My heart, and I'm sure you know this feeling too, beats faster whenever I find a beautiful secondhand or vintage piece. I often wonder about the past of the clothing. Who was their former owner? What personal stories have been written by wearing this exact piece? Each item contains their own secrets.
Having nurtured my passion for vintage clothing for several years now, my friends motivated me to create this online shop in order to share my vintage and secondhand finds with like-minded people. It is a project that is very close to my heart.
The meaning of the character 珍 zhēn in Chinese language means precious, treasure, very valuable, rare.
Why wear vintage silk?
The history of silk began around 5000 years ago in China. Silk is made from a protein called fibroin which stems from silkworm cocoons, making it an animal fiber. The unique characteristics of silk are not only its natural softness, but also the fact that it keeps our skin cool on hot summer days and warms us in cold wintery nights.
The production of silk is a long and arduous process; starting with the cocoons, which must be worked up until it becomes a fabric. Don't forget the sewing until it is a finished garment. As you can imagine, lots of water is used in the production process.
Whilst silk was a very expensive good years ago, it can be found at numerous fast fashion stores nowadays. The mass production goes on and on and the industry never stops. The main question is, why should one not wear vintage silk? The beautiful silk blouses, mostly from the 90s or even earlier, can be found in an astonishingly good condition and are simply waiting for a second life. By reflecting on our consumer behavior and buying secondhand and vintage clothing, we can make an important contribution to a more sustainable world.
Can I buy your products in a physical store?
We do not run our own physical store (yet!), but our vintage silk blouses can be found in the shop below. You can try on the clothes and - if you like them - buy them directly in this shops.
Atelier Kalk, Heinrichstrasse 225, 8005 Zurich (2nd June - 24th June 2023)